EU pays Kenya 70pc of budget for KDF troops in Somalia


Nearly 4,000 Kenyan soldiers are part of Amisom. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The European Union (EU) and its partners reimbursed Kenya more than 70 percent of Treasury’s full-year target for troops fighting Al-Shabaab militia in Somalia in the first quarter after the UN extended the exit for five months.

The Treasury says it received nearly Sh1.85 billion from the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) in three months through September, making up 74 percent of Sh2.5 billion it has budgeted for this fiscal year ending June 2022.

The reimbursement of the grants came in the quarter the UN Security Council pushed forward Amisom’s stay in Somalia to the end of May next year from the earlier date of December 31.

That was the third time the exit date has been extended this year having previously been extended from March 14 after the war-torn country failed to conduct a presidential poll in February.

The UN has called on Somalia and its partners to work “to create a conducive political and security climate for inclusive elections across Somalia”.

Kenya formally sent about 4,660 soldiers to Somalia in October 2011 after incessant attacks and kidnapping of civilians by Al-Shabaab militants within its territory, numbers which have since been gradually trimmed.

A year later, the UN Security Council gave Kenya the green light to join Amisom, a decision that meant the Treasury would not bear the full costs of the incursion.

The Sh2.5 billion that Treasury is expecting from Amisom this fiscal year is slightly more than a quarter of the Sh8.94 billion it received in the previous year ended June 2021.

Treasury PS Julius Muia told lawmakers in July the exchequer funds KDF operations in Somalia, cash which the Defence ministry refunds once they are wired by the African Union.

The refunds are paid through the African Union Peace Facility to the Defence ministry.

The EU funds largely cater for allowances for the Amisom troops and police, international and local civilian staff salaries and operational costs of their offices.

The United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), on the other hand, provides logistical field support to the Amisom troops and Somali National Security Forces during joint operations.

Conservative estimates shows the international community pays $1,028 (Sh116,009) for each soldier per month. Their respective governments then deduct about $200 (Sh22,570) for administrative costs, meaning the soldiers take home about $800 (Sh90,280).

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), in the book titled "War for Peace: Kenya’s Military in the African Mission in Somalia, 2011-2020"— published May 8,2020 — suggests that reforming the Somali National Army to take charge of sustainable peace should be the first pillar of the exit plan.

The second pillar is creating a "stable, peaceful and prosperous" Jubbaland, which has had relative peace amid years of civil strife in mainland Somalia by “securing routes in Jubbaland accessible to and used by al-Shabaab”.

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